Essentials of Movement Training

By Christian Darley

Bursting with energy and ideas, and written with passion and commitment, THE SPACE TO MOVE is a key sourcebook on movement training for actors, directors, students and teachers.

In precise detail, Darley sets out the exercises and techniques she developed with her own drama-school students.   She deals with the vital building blocks of movement training: awareness, relaxation, tension and suspension, before progressing to areas in which she was a pioneer: animal work, contact work, visual spacing, and the relationship between voice and movement.   The book ends with chapters on working with children and working with soldiers.   Witty, imaginative, profound and entertaining, this is an inspirational book for all theatre practitioners.

After studying Classics at Oxford and training in movement in Paris, Christian Darley taught movement at LAMDA from 1993 onwards and was movement director on many productions there and elsewhere.   She also conducted community workshops and took her work into prisons and schools.   She died just before publication of her book.


‘Christian was much more than a teacher, she was an indomitable and extraordinary spirit; the kind of teacher that didn’t demand hard work but inspired in her students the desire to want to do well.   A contradiction, but she was truly a gentle force of nature’

BAFTA winning actress Anna Maxwell Martin (‘The Nightwatch’, ‘Bleak House’)


‘There was something magical about Christian’s classes, a calm and serene environment that inspired each and every student to take risks with themselves and each other.  The work was always very thought-provoking and challenging, but ultimately lots of fun’

Dominic Cooper (‘Mamma Mia’, ‘Tamara Drewe’)


‘There are many of Christian’s techniques which I still use for my character studies, vocal work and preparation for performance, whether it’s on television, radio or stage’

Richard Armitage (‘Robin Hood’, ‘Spooks’)


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